In comparison with meetings in the US, meetings in Canada are relatively more formal. Thus punctuality is expected and meetings often start with some type of polite small talk. Body language tends to be quite reserved with few visible shows of emotion or anger.
Meetings procedures usually follow the Anglo-Saxon approach of one at a time speaking and interruptions are generally frowned upon and considered to be rude. Everybody expects a democratic right to be allowed to have their say within the meeting and for their opinions and views to be respected, regardless of position within the organisation.
It is unusual for meetings to become aggressive or heated as great emphasis is placed upon being courteous and polite. If a meeting seems to be heading for overt confrontation, most Canadians would prefer to calm things down.
Attendees at meetings are expected to be well prepared as decisions tend to be taken on the basis of empirical facts rather than on hunches or gut reactions. Inability to provide the relevant level of detail could be viewed as suspicious and evasive behaviour.
Global Business culture is a leading training provider in the fields of cross-cultural communication and global virtual team working. We provide training to global corporations in live classroom-based formats, through webinars and also through our cultural awareness digital learning hub, Global Business Compass.
This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Canada only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.